Women Take Center Stage at Italian EVOO Literary Competition

The award ceremony also saw the launching of the Mediterranean Olive Oil Women’s Network and was an opportunity for a Jordanian agriculture official to showcase her country's progress.

Apr. 9, 2019
By Ylenia Granitto

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The win­ners of the third Ranieri Filo della Torre inter­na­tional lit­er­ary prize have been announced.

At Palazzo della Valle, in Rome, where the head­quar­ters of the gen­eral con­fed­er­a­tion of Ital­ian agri­cul­ture, Confa­gri­coltura, are located, 11 awards were handed out for sci­en­tific writ­ings, his­tor­i­cal essays, poetry and fic­tion.

The inter­na­tional open­ness of the award… allowed us to achieve the objec­tive of our asso­ci­a­tion, which is to bring as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble (together), with no bor­ders, closer to the won­der­ful world of extra vir­gin olive oil.- Lori­ana Abbruzzetti, pres­i­dent of Pan­dolea

The annual com­pe­ti­tion, which is orga­nized by Pan­dolea, seeks to rec­og­nize and pro­mote extra vir­gin olive oil cul­ture in lit­er­a­ture. Entries are already open for next year’s com­pe­ti­tion.

This has been a spe­cial and much-wel­comed edi­tion marked by a grow­ing inter­est amongst par­tic­i­pants, pub­lic and experts,” Lori­ana Abbruzzetti, the pres­i­dent of Pan­dolea said. The inter­na­tional open­ness of the award, with the pre­sen­ta­tion of the Mediter­ranean Olive Oil Women’s Net­work, attracted the inter­est of a wider pub­lic, and allowed us to achieve the objec­tive of our asso­ci­a­tion, which is to bring as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble [together], with no bor­ders, closer to the won­der­ful world of extra vir­gin olive oil.”

See more: Fairs and Com­pe­ti­tions

In the sci­ence cat­e­gory, Alessio Scal­isi, from the Uni­ver­sity of Palermo, was one of the win­ners for his doc­toral the­sis about fruit and leaf sens­ing for the con­tin­u­ous mon­i­tor­ing of tree water sta­tus in high-den­sity orchard sys­tems.

Ana Srbinovska, from the Uni­ver­sity of Udine, also won an award for her Mas­ter’s the­sis regard­ing the deter­mi­na­tion of n‑alkanes in veg­etable oils.

Valentina Bertoz, also from the Uni­ver­sity of Udine, picked up the third award for her Bach­e­lor’s the­sis on the eval­u­a­tion of the antiox­i­dant con­tent of veg­etable oils as a func­tion of refine­ment.

In the his­tory cat­e­gory, Elisa Maria Fiocca and Maria Gra­zie Caffè each picked up awards for their essays: Amori, Ulivi e Kanun’ (Loves, Olive Trees and Kanun’) and Mot­tola La spia dello Ionio’ (Mot­tola the Ioni­an’s spy’), respec­tively.

In the poetry sec­tion Dominga Car­ruba, Franca Chi­ap­petta and Milena de Mag­istris von Rex each won for their poems: Del Canto (On Singing); L’ulivo (The Olive Tree) and La terra l’Uomo e quel frutto… (The Land, the Human, and that Fruit…), respec­tively.

For the fic­tion sec­tion, Amina Valen­tini won for Una madre e una sinolea (A Mother and a Sinolea); Antoni­etta Tiberia won for Il baratto (The Bar­ter­ing); and Beni­amino Car­dines won for Il patto dell’olio (The Pact of Oil).

Ranieri Filo della Torre was the gen­eral direc­tor of Unaprol and made sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tions to the Ital­ian olive oil sector’s devel­op­ment. Three years ago, Pan­dolea came up with an olive oil-themed lit­er­ary con­test ded­i­cated to his mem­ory, which has since allowed indi­vid­u­als from around the world to con­tribute.

The event was also a moment to mark the launch of the orga­ni­za­tion’s new Mediter­ranean Olive Oil Women’s Net­work.

“[The work of this asso­ci­a­tion] is one of a kind, as we aim at pro­mot­ing olive oil through our wom­an­hood,” Abbruzzetti said. This means accep­tance, open­ness, embrace, and car­ing for the future of our chil­dren.”

Jor­dan is one of many coun­tries in which the work of women is dri­ving the sec­tor for­ward. Nehayah Almuhaisen, the direc­tor of the olive oil divi­sion of the Jor­dan­ian Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture, joined Abbruzzetti to speak about the state of the olive oil sec­tor in her coun­try as well as the role of women in pro­mot­ing the coun­try’s olive oil cul­ture.

In Jor­dan, olive trees cover 77 per­cent of the tree-planted area of the coun­try, while most of its farm­ers are olive grow­ers,” she said. Many typ­i­cal Jor­dan­ian dishes are olive oil-based, nev­er­the­less we need to raise ever more knowl­edge on this great prod­uct amongst con­sumers since high prices can be a rea­son for a decrease in con­sump­tion.”

Almuhaisen empha­sized the need for pro­duc­ers to con­nect with con­sumers and said that events, such as Pan­dolea, were great oppor­tu­ni­ties for these types of inter­ac­tions to take place.

In the light of the poten­tial of the sec­tor, we are work­ing on increas­ing the aware­ness of con­sumers and pro­duc­ers on the impor­tance of high-qual­ity extra vir­gin olive oil,” Almuhaisen added. Mak­ing the new gen­er­a­tion aware of healthy eat­ing habits and how to make good use of the sen­sory eval­u­a­tion of olive oil is a goal shared with Pan­dolea.”

This invi­ta­tion to be part of an inter­na­tional net­work who aim at pro­mot­ing extra vir­gin olive oil encour­ages me and my team to con­tinue our work,” she added. We are look­ing for­ward to the next events with the coun­tries which will join us.”

Abbruzzetti said that she hoped that events such as this one will help olive oil pro­duc­ers, espe­cially women, from around the world to con­nect and share their ideas.

The work with the Jor­dan team pro­vided a great oppor­tu­nity to exchange views and for growth,” she said. For this rea­son, by involv­ing women pro­fes­sion­als from the other coun­tries, we aim to cre­ate a con­struc­tive debate on extra vir­gin olive oil at a global level, with the goal to boost the whole sec­tor.”

Greece will be the next coun­try to join the olive oil women net­work, while con­tact has been made with Argentina to dis­cuss the pos­si­bil­ity as well.

We called it Mediter­ranean’ because we started here, but the call is open to women pro­fes­sion­als in the olive oil sec­tor all over the world,” Abbruzzetti said.

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